Detox diets are all the rage, but there’s no compelling evidence they’re better for you than a long-term change in diet. They’re all supported only by anecdotal and testimonial claims. Although many of these diets do provide a temporary boost to one’s energy levels, getting long term benefits seems to be tougher. While weight goes down a little and energy goes up some, these changes don’t last long and plateau rapidly.
There’s no doubt our bodies encounter environmental toxins daily. Internally, our bodies produce plenty of toxins. The byproducts of metabolism need to be flushed out of the bloodstream every day. However, a person in reasonably good health already has the best detoxers imaginable: the human liver and kidneys. Consider that the liver and kidneys are the two most efficient, effective toxin and poison eliminators known. The liver breaks down poisons into less harmful chemicals, then routes them out of the body. If a person has no form of liver disease, drinks in moderation or not at all, and doesn’t use illicit drugs, the liver itself doesn’t need detoxing. It does a great job of that on its own.The kidneys help balance salt and mineral content in the blood and also do an incredibly effective job at filtering out biotoxins, as well as routing excess fluids and waste products out of the body.
Eliminating wastes products from the body is essential. However, human beings already have those mechanisms in place. So can a change in diet help purge us of any toxins our vital organs might miss? Turns out, not that much. People often feel a boost in energy levels and an increase in mental clarity when they fast, at least for a while. However, that’s due to replacing processed high-fat, high carb foods with nutrient-dense, low calorie foods that fill the body’s requirements for essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Detox diets are high in hydration. Lots of water in the diet stimulates the kidneys into high gear, causing an increased urine stream, carrying lots of metabolic waste out of the body. We get that benefit anytime we increase our water intake
Detox diets that are high in vegetables, fiber, some fruits, and a little protein seem to have the best effect. Depriving one’s self of any protein at all can lead to fatigue. Diets that rely on herbs not normally found in the diet can be dangerous if a person has an underlying condition, especially high blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney problems. Note that if the body is starved of calories, it will metabolize muscle tissue before it ever touches fat.
In every situation relating to detox diets, get a doctor’s OK before proceeding.